PACE Coalition | State Farm Good Neighbor
Contributed by Shabonya Dutton of State Farm
“Healthy Communities… Whatever it takes.” This is the motto of PACE Coalition. PACE may not be an organization that everyone in our community is familiar with. Maybe you have seen their billboards or a pamphlet and thought to yourself what does PACE do?
The answer to this question is that PACE does a lot within our communities. They serve Elko, Eureka, and White Pine Counties meaning they encompass most of Northern Eastern Nevada in their scope of work, providing specialized services based off of the needs of each community. In the beginning PACE Coalition started as a substance abuse prevention coalition. It was discovered over time that the only way to combat substance abuse as a whole was to treat the causes of substance abuse. Therefore finding ways to create healthy communities as a whole. Whether this means helping those with mental illness, food insecurities, education, or transportation needs.
Laura Oslund is the director of PACE Coalition and she works diligently with agencies in each of the three counties to make sure that programs are offered that will benefit the communities housed within them. Examples of some of the work that she does involves writing grants that help fund programs for other agencies so that those agencies can provide direct services to those in need. PACE Coalition has helped to fund $125,000 dollars to Boys and Girls Club in White Pine County and Elko County, Juvenile Probation in Eureka County, Family Resource Center in Wells, and to Suicide and Substance Prevention in Elko. They focus on making sure that no agency is competing for services and that there are not duplications in services. They have joined forces with other players in each community to increase the resources so that more community members are served at the appropriate place.
In addition to helping fund other agencies, PACE provides a variety of trainings throughout the three counties. They have classes on Diabetes care and chronic disease self-management, as well as, adult and youth mental health first aid. These trainings are open to the public and are usually put on once there is enough interest from those in the community to put on a class. They also facilitate the Responsible Beverage Server Training classes for the Downtown Business Association and Police Department. They provide a Safe Lock-up program that helps train individuals on the dangers of opioids and how to properly store and dispose of opioids. They provide lock boxes to families in need (some qualifying required) to safely store opioids and other prescription drugs. Additionally, they are able to put on trainings on substance abuse and awareness.
The funding from the grants that Laura writes do not cover everything that PACE does. That is why in March they joined forces with other community programs like Communities in Schools, Family Resource Center, FISH, Ruby Mountain Resource Center, and Terrace at Ruby View to create the Gift Cards for Good fundraiser. This created a way for each organization to come together to help fund their programs. PACE also does the annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes domestic violence walk with CADV of Elko. This walk is held every year the last weekend of October. PACE participates in community events throughout the year to help raise awareness about their programs and who they are. They were recently at the Health and Fitness Fair held on March 10th.
With all of the work that PACE does and helps to have accomplished in our communities it is amazing that they have the time and capacity to take on more. They do have an eye to the future though. PACE is working very closely with Elko Police Department, other local law enforcement, and regional behavioral health professionals to create a new crisis intervention program. This program would be modeled after a program that originated in Memphis Tennessee where police officers and mental health professionals are paired together to help those in crisis within our communities. In May they will be holding a training to help create crisis intervention teams within our area.
We at Shabonya Dutton State Farm want to send our warmest thank you to Laura and her team for all of the work they do. They are truly helping to create healthier communities for all of us to live and work in.
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